The Coconut Cream Pie at Malai: Not Your Mama's Coconut Cream Pie
After finishing off a delicate salmon dish at Malai, our incredibly perky waitress convinced me to try the coconut cream pie. She swore everybody loved it. Everybody whom she could convince to try a coconut cream pie, of all things, at the Thai-Vietnamese-fusion-restaurant-in-a-somewhat-revolving-door-location, anyway.
Out it came, and it didn't disappoint. The most important thing to note about this slice of awesome is its crust, made from, according to my rough estimation, 75 percent coconut, 15 percent butter and 10 percent magic. It's chewy like a cookie and will make you wonder why all pie crusts aren't made out of the same mix.
The filling in this pie doesn't read coconut much at all. It's more key lime-like. It's tangy and not too sweet, with the perfect density. A thin, tacky layer of slightly charred meringue sits on top, which is nothing like the Dallas hair-heighted stuff many coconut cream pie eaters are used to. It's a good thing. Intense flavor rules in this creation, as the finishing touch of tamarind sauce swirls around the plate. It adds just the punch this dessert needs to catapult it to you've-GOT-to-try-this status.
Thank you, perky-as-hell waitress. Thank you.
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